The edible kicks in as I see the thread split *cracks knuckles*
If RB ownership today changed nothing but the name, logo, and kit, yes, very little changes. 5% or less. Or maybe it sparks jersey sale insanity that opens the transfer budget a bit and gets them to follow Milo's suggestions and we get an exciting player and get on an upward attendance spiral to-- yup Im high, moving on. [editors note: you can stop reading here I've said all the rest before]
The *club identity* thing - not name - is a long term, one-piece-of-the puzzle thing. Identity sets a tone, an attitude. It tells a story that people can get behind, and that story is very much about the area and people the team is supposed to represent, NOT the corporate sponsor. Would FC Barcelona still be FCB if it became FC Estrella Damm? Mostly, but a little magic would be missing. The crest wouldn't give the same feelings. Do you think Atlanta United would've stirred that city the way it did if it was Coca-Cola Atlanta? It still would've been a big thing, but that name spoke to people, and tells a story to both old black/white Atlanta and new transplant Atlanta. It gets them telling others about the team. Metro 96 tells a damn story.
Hardcores that post on message boards during suspended seasons, debate depth charts, and have nicknames for different formations will watch FC Ex-Lax if that's the pro club in their area, which I think skews perspective of the different ways casuals connect with teams.
Think about that clean black/gold winged LA hat LAFC has. Instant iconic. A stylish thing even stylish people in a stylish city could feel geeked about - that signals THEIR THING. When I see someone in RBNY gear, I shout em out and say hey. Sometimes we start talking about the team. A LOT of people have been to an RBNY game or two, how many rock gear? My sense on that is not many. People go to one Red Sox game during freshman orientation and proudly wear that godawful B hat around for the rest of their cornball lives. Is that just about the Sox being champs? Until 2004 the B was about the lovable underdogs who just couldn't get over the hump. And it was still very popular! People that have never even been to NY wear Yankees hats? Why? Aura, story, winning, and good design that feels fly to wear. Somewhere in this clubs future, there is an iconic black/red M96 hat you see all over the place.
Hello! What are we even talking about here. Dope branding is the original grassroots viral marketing. Red Bull zzzz York leaves a massive amount of points on the board just in that respect. Suddenly we're pretending branding doesn't matter? In this area?? We're ignoring how much of soccer club fandom is about clubs repping their area well? Metrofanatics, please.
Resisting reductionism and wanting to get back to ST:DS9, a real club identity is about actually trying to be a quality, complete product in a Metro area chock full of quality sports team products. It's a qualitative change before a quantitative one. The identity sets the tone. Sisko out.
tl:dr: it matters to some of us okayyyy